Several caves with spectacular limestone formations have been discovered in the South Ardeche. Over thousands of years the Ardeche river has dug and worked its way into the limestone plateau. It has shaped the Gorges de l'Ardèche (Canyon about 30km long) as we know it today. You can observe the natural sculptures in a canoe from the water and also by car. Many viewpoints allow you to enjoy beautiful views.
Do not miss the Pont d'Arc. The river has carved this imposing natural arch that reaches a height of 60 meters.
Water has also shaped the underground of the limestone valley, drop by drop, to give us a majestic spectacle of Caves and Avens:
- Le Grand Site de l'Aven d'Orgnac,
- L'Aven Marzal (Grand Site de France),
- Les grottes de la Madeleine,
- Les grottes de St Marcel d'Ardèche.
Other outstanding natural attractions include:
- The resurgent Font Vive, Grospierres,
- The woods of Païolive,
- Rock Sampzon,
- The Ibie Valley,
- National Nature Reserve, Gorges de l'Ardèche
We love our region, but we are not the first!
35 000 years ago (!), our ancestors drew what are considered to be the oldest cave drawings found in the world - right here in Ardeche. Chauvet Cave, discovered in 1994, is home to these drawings. The reconstruction of the cave is open to the public since April 2015. She is 20 minutes from the Domaine des Garrigues.
You can visit the permanent exhibition of the Chauvet cave in Vallon Pont d'Arc and the Museum of Prehistory in Orgnac Bridge.
For young and old prehistoric zoo in Marzal is also a fascinating visit.
We also have evidence of more recent civilization. 4000BC many ‘dolmens’ (large rock tombs) were built in our region.
Unusual fact: the Ardèche department is home to over 800 identified dolmens, 50 of which can be found in the town of Grospierres.
Villages with outstanding character
You can stroll through and visit some of the most beautiful character villages in France; Balazuc and Vogue, as well as the character villages; Labeaume Vinezac, Jaujac, Ailhon, Banne...
Take time to stroll along the streets of these ageless villages and imagine the sounds of horses, traders and passersby...
Crafts and Farm Products
Come "Taste the Ardèche!". Since 1995 "Taste Ardeche" is a collective trademark that distinguishes the best products of the department.
The brand brings together a broad range of cross-regional products: honey, fruit juice, wine, meats, cheeses, nougat, pastries, jams, ice cream & sorbet, mineral water, alcohols, beers, spirits, chestnuts, bread, meat, poultry.
For a visit that will give you everything you need to know about the wine of Ardeche, visit the new oenological (wine and wine making) discovery center in Roums – your 5 senses will be awakened.
Other products and know-how to discover:
- Oil Mill - Vallon Pont d'Arc,
- Museum of Lavender - St Remèze,
- Honey - Chauzon,
- The Biscuit Châtaignettes - St Privat,
- Le petit Ardéchois Nougaterie - St Etienne de Fontbellon,
- Brewery - Rosières,
- Workshop Interface manufacturing ceramic - Grospierres,
- Snail Farm - St Remèze,
- La Maison des Artisans - Balazuc,
- Glass - Ruoms,
- Museum Chataigneraie - Joyeuse.
Sites to visit
Other sites that await you:
- Castle of Vogüé,
- The Spinning Reel - Largentière,
- The living museum of the pig - Chambonas,
- Alphonse Daudet Museum and House of Ardeche Traditions- Saint-Alban-Auriolles,
- Ardèche Lamas - St Remèze,
- Castle Roures Labastide de Virac,
- Melvita (organic cosmetics) – Lagorce.